Sunday, September 1, 2013

Requiem for a Star

Yesterday we remembered and honored Dad.


Requiem for a Star

He died, just short of his 80th Birthday

survived by Mom, their three daughters, three son-in-laws, four grandchildren and one great grandson

so we stand here today in his garden

to pay our last respects

and to remember

the funny,

I’ll finish it tomorrow

lovable despot, that we called Dad.

 

He used to tell me

“Don’t touch me, I’m a star”

and I believed him.

I aimed high

and I followed my star to Hawaii

where I raised a family and flourished.

He expected great things

from his offspring

and we produced, as good offspring do.

And I oft times wondered if it was enough

I think it was, because Mom tells me so!

 

So we gather to remember the good

to heal, to reconcile the past.

We gather to laugh, shake our heads

to raise our glasses

and toast

the loose boards

hanging wires

half driven nails

and let us not forget

the bamboo, the sumac, and the poison ivy

because in spite of it all

he stayed long enough to

know, love and praise his four precious grandchildren

Jason, Kenny, Taylor and Lauren and great grandson, Chad

indeed, he loved us all.

 

Dear old Dad

a happy-go-lucky sort

rich in aspiration

and poor everyplace else.

A tyrant

with a dream of restoring a drafty old summer house

without running water

nestled on a hill between a rock pile

and a wild jungle of vines and sticker bushes

a house that sucked up money

like a good HEPA vacuum, leaving us just enough to get by

 

He had envisioned a sparkling jewel

and she stands to this day

an earthy un-pinned floozy.

a small poorly lit home

where he and Mom raised

their three sparkling fashionistas

each one of us

a strong-minded finisher

despite

Dad’s shining example.

 

Mom, Angie and Chrissy

brilliant, polished and uncut

and me

chasing stars

cherishing faint memories

of an iron-willed father

too hot for mere mortals

flawed but sweet

a man

whose light still shines in the garage

because like its creator

there is no off-switch

a man

resolute and irreverent

who never kowtowed to the crowd of popular opinion

an imperfect German perfectionist born in the free city of Danzig

a master electrician, a craftsman, and a ham-radio man

who shocked us with his frayed wires, his genius

hot-wiring his way into our hearts and minds

an enthusiastic family man with hopes and dreams

who touched us with his light

and left much too soon.

A man whose legacy includes

a bushel of antenna wire

three Bic lighters

and a nude statue of EVE

causing me to

rise each day before the dawn

gaze up at the sky

and to wonder

which star

might be his.